I had the privilege of getting to run in the city of London during my work trip to this great place. We stayed at the Montcalm @ The Brewery which is located in the heart of the city. After 2 days in the tiny indoor fitness room, I knew I had to venture off and try running in the streets. My concern is that I didn't want to run with my iPhone 6 phone because its so big and even in my carry pouch, it bounces around too much and is too annoying!
I decided my plan would be to take an old-fashion paper map - stuffed in the back pocket of my cycling jersey. The challenge would be getting from the hotel down to the River Bank area since there was no direct street. On Run #1, I had to stop a bunch to get my directions down and still managed to not get fully lost - which I declare a great successful. Run #2 was even better because I didn't need the map at all. I took a course down to the River Bank, across the Millennium Bridge, through the South End Art district, back over the Westminster bridge and back on River bank.
Now that's a wrap to my 2015 Triathlon Season with 11 total events!
2 open water swims
1 half marathon
For this race on September 27, I returned to the See Jane Run Triathlon in Pleasanton. This is a sprint distance triathlon with a 400 yard swim, 11.3 mile bike and 5K trail run. This would be the 4th time racing this event (2009, 2010, 2014). I was not committed to doing it until the Friday before when I registered. There was 2 other races that I considered doing on this upcoming October 3th - however, I determined this date would no longer work for me. So I decided to make this race the final in 2015 since its local, short and all ladies!
I hadn't biked much at all since Aquabike nationals two weeks ago and my running was pretty infrequent as well with the twice per week schedule. I knew I still had my bike base from my ramp up to Nationals and I can do anything for 5K so I knew I still had the potential to do well.
I arrived to the race location around 6:30AM for a 8:00AM race start. I had plenty of time to setup, warm-up and then get ready to roll. We were able to do a deep water start unlike last year because the water line was so receded. Even though I had my tinted googles, they fogged up right away and with the glare swimming straight towards the first buoy, I couldn't see a thing! The wave starts were also only 3 minutes part and being the 4th wave, there were a lot of women in front. The swim buoy was a small round one, compared to the larger triangle style so it was hard to see among the caps of swimmers. In any event, it was so short of a swim that I figured it out although I probably could have saved half a minute with a better swim line.
Now off to the bike. My approach was to go all-out on the bike and go for a personal best since its a flat course and I know it well. I took off on the bike and immediately fly up over 20 mph. I definitely wanted the average to be at least 20 mph which has eluded me all season. I was surprised that I could fly that fast while still keeping my heart rate on the lower side of AT. Consider though that the swim was so short, it was not that surprising. I passed a bunch of women out on the course. Soon, there was only one other fast woman around. It felt like we were the first two although there ended up being one other fast woman who had started in the 1st wave 9 minutes prior to my wave. I was super thrilled about my bike time and average speed of 21.5 mph - record!
On the run, I knew I would suffer slightly due to high level of effort on the bike. I still committed to trying to get under 9 mph average on a trail run with some elevation. There was some minor suffering although since I knew the course well, I was fine with the little hills and it was over so fast being a 5K.
I ended up shaving 5 minutes off my 2014 time - 3 off the bike and 2 off the run - pretty darn impressive difference on such a short race! I landed 2nd place OVERALL - first time this year placing in the top 3 overall category. What a super fabulous race day!
Epic day at the Toughman NY Aquabike National Championship race! I'm so excited that I actually got to compete in this race. It was not an easy feat, considering all of the obstacles involved in a travel race. I came across this race earlier this season when checking out the USA Triathlon events calendar. I selected this event primarily because it was located within minutes of my parents' house and my original hometown of Nyack, New York. Place to stay - check! Of course, the rest of the logistics were a little more challenging, especially around the bike transport. Here's what I ended up doing:
Definitely the most anxiety was around shipping the bike. I had to let it go and hope for the best (and get insurance from the shipping company). I learned on the Thursday before my bike to NY that the bike had safely arrived - woohoo! Now the next challenge - the weather was looking problematic - thunderstorms predicted - UGH! My parents transported by bike back from the shop covered in plastic wrap on the bike wrap as it was pouring rain on Thursday night. I arrived in NY with my eldest daughter on Friday evening, leaving Saturday to do all of my pre-race day prep.
On Saturday, I headed over to the YMCA White Plains for a brief, 30 minute, swim. After that, I headed to the South County trail to do a test run of my bike. The seat post slipped down as soon as I mounted the bike, meaning that it must not have been tight enough or the extra lubrication made it slide. Luckily, I had the appropriate bike wrench to adjust it. Unfortunately, I had taken off the masking tape which marked the appropriate height. I found myself confused about what height it had been. While standing, it seemed high enough. When riding, I felt my inner tights hitting the top tube. So either the seat was wrong or I had gained 5 pounds in less than one week - not possible. In any event, I raised it to what I thought felt like the most normal height - rode for about 30 minutes and packed it in.
Then it was off to packet pick-up and pre-race meeting. The expo was well-organized and packet pick-up was fast. They told us that for Aquabike, your time would end when you covered the T2 map. It was optionally to go from T2 through the finisher chute for the photo op. At the race meeting, we discussed how the bike course would be completely closed to traffic - super cool. My dad and I drove the bike course route 9 several times to observe the road and the curve. There were two 'climbs,' neither very steep and only one on Mile 3 and Mile 30 (2 28 mile loops) was even noticeable to me. The only unknown variable at this time was the weather. Thunderstorms would be cancellation of the swim which would be awful for an Aquabike National Championship - in addition to the fact that bike racing in the rain would be miserable! We had to all cross our fingers for good weather!
4AM alarm wake-up and we were out the door by 4:30AM. Upon arriving just before 5AM, the transition was already packed. Lots of energy and excitment and darkness now that we are towards the end of summertime. Luckily, the hourly forecast predicted no more rain - I was so happy. I got all of my stuff setup and had just enough time for a 10 minute run warm-up before having to get into the wetsuit and head over to the opening ceremony on the beach at 6:30AM. With the earlier wave start time of 6:50AM, I realized that it was still a little dark and I had brought my new tinted goggles down to the beach with me. For a second, I thought if I could make it back to grab my clear google and then realized there would barely be enough time and I would have to run/drama. Like everything with transition, you need to adapt and go for it - tinted goggles it was!
Swim start was a run-in start from the beach. I actually stood right in the front and went for it. We were the second wave after the elites and Men 30-34. It was beneficial to be in this early wave since there would be less traffic in the swim and out on the bike course. My swim went great. The tinted goggles ended up being fine as I had perfect visibility for the 12 buoys on the course. The water was nice and warm, 77 degrees so barely wetsuit legal. On the first half of the swim course, I swam parellel to another girl. As we approached the turn buoy, I forged ahead and cut close around the buoy. On the way back, I made my way through passing some of the slower man from the previous wave.
Once done, I exited quickly. I opted not to use the wetsuit strippers since I know it is not a great idea to laid down on the ground. Plus I'm pretty fast at getting this wetsuit off on my own. I blazed through T1 and was out on the bike. Now for the challenge. As mentioned in my 2015 Vineman Aquabike race review, my targeted bike pace was 20 mph since I had previously done that 4 and 5 years ago. I ended up doing 19 mph on that race. For this one, I had no idea if 20 mph would be possible considering the rolling hills and the higher total elevation gain on this course (3,238 ft gain vs 2,123 ft at Vineman). Instead of focusing on just the average speed, I focused on trying to maintain an lactate threshold (LT) pace. I also carried 4 gels as opposed to 3 gels on Vineman and planned to consume 1 gel every 45 minutes, which might the first gel went down around 15 minutes into the bike. This fueling policy really worked well for me. The fueling and bike trainer workouts the past month really improved well. I was able to improve my average power to 172W compared to 148W at Vineman and my average speed was 19.4mph. The bike course was beautiful with mostly rolling hills on a closed parkway which was smooth and fast. I only need to use my brakes on the descend of the one 'main' climb. It was a great course to maintain aero position almost exclusively.
While being in the LT zone, my heart rate hovered around 167 bpm which is actually my cross-over point into Zone 5. This ended up being my average total heart rate, which is perfect since I was able to maintain it for the whole bike race. It wasn't easy although it was better than Vineman because I didn't half bonk around mile 30. On this race, I was able to do some great visualization techniques. Due to the open nature of the course, I could see far away or around a corner. I would pick orange cones out in the distance which divided the bike traffic and focus on the cones. I also got to race against some of the fastest female bikers out there. The last 3 miles, there was a turn-off onto a narrow bike path which became a no-pass zone. I had checked out the path with my dad the day before so I knew exactly what to expect - which is always a good thing. Best part of aquabike is crushing the bike course, dismounting and then being done with no run! I put on my shoes and gently ran down the finisher chute for my photo-op! My overall race time was 2 minutes faster than Vineman.
Best part was getting to share this victory with my parents, sister, niece and my eldest daughter and getting a Gold Medal and National Champion Tri-top! #familyforever #trimom
I had the privilege of getting to run in the city of London during my work trip to this great place. We stayed at the Montcalm @ The Brewery which is located in the heart of the city. After 2 days in the tiny indoor fitness room, I knew I had to venture off and try running in the streets. My concern is that I didn't want to run with my iPhone 6 phone because its so big and even in my carry pouch, it bounces around too much and is too annoying! I decided my plan would be to...
Now that's a wrap to my 2015 Triathlon Season with 11 total events! 6 triathlons 2 aquabike 2 open water swims 1 half marathon For this race on September 27, I returned to the See Jane Run Triathlon in Pleasanton. This is a sprint distance triathlon with a 400 yard swim, 11.3 mile bike and 5K trail run. This would be the 4th time racing this event (2009, 2010, 2014). I was not committed to doing it until the Friday before when I registered. There was 2 other races that I considered doing on this upcoming October 3th - however,...